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What is a Cultural Fit Assessment? Why is it Important in Recruiting?

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

What is a Cultural Fit Assessment? Why is it Important in Recruiting?

The difference between an outstanding employee and his peers is not always connected to lack of motivation, poor remuneration, or even lack of passion on the job. It can equally be a function of cultural fitness. Employees' performance is likely to dwindle when they don't fit into the company's culture.

Have you tried to understand why very good staff with excellent compensation and benefits would sometimes leave a thriving organization and go work for another one with fewer benefits, maybe a startup? A lot of times, the reason behind such decisions can be traced to culture fit. When the personal philosophies and ethics of new hires do not match the work culture and core values and policies of a company, chances are, they won't stay long. And if they stayed, they most likely won't be at their best.

Hiring for Cultural Fit

Cultural fit assessment should be an integral part of an effective hiring process. If for instance, you hire someone who loves to work independently, it can be a serious problem if that individual is made to lead a team of other professionals. Such a person may feel the need for more autonomy when making decisions but might be slowed down by the bureaucracy of company management.

This is why it's important to factor in cultural fit assessment into every hiring process. Culture fit is more like the invisible chord that holds an organization together. Employing people who do not see things the way your company does or share the same values that represent the character of your organization might get in the way of work and cost you a lot in the long run.

What is a Cultural Fit Assessment?

Cultural fit assessment comes into play when hiring managers and recruiters or recruiting service providers factor in the possibility of new hires being able to reflect and adapt to the core values, beliefs, and behaviors that define an organization. Cultural assessment considers whether the new candidate has the right combination of skills, qualifications, experiences, attitude, and beliefs that make him not just a fit for the role he's being interviewed for, but also suitable to work in your company.

Essentially, a cultural fit assessment ensures that you only hire people with a mix of attributes that`s fitting for your company's work culture. Many organizations use this strategy to reduce the cost of employee turnover and retain the best talents on their team. But before hiring managers can begin to assess the cultural fit of candidates, they must be able to define what the culture of their organization is - their beliefs, core values, mission, and policies.

Once that is sorted, they can then incorporate it into the hiring process. This process may take time and there's no specific route or strategy for understanding the culture of a company. It may require discussing with top managers, CEOs, and stakeholders. In another scenario, you may need the help of a consultant to arrive at a corporate statement that defines the standing of your organization.

Why Should Cultural Fit Assessment Be an Integral Part of Your Recruiting Process?

Now that we've been able to establish what cultural fit assessment is, here are some of the reasons why it should be part of a strategic hiring process.

Employee Engagement is Better

When you hire people who fit into your work culture, employee engagement naturally goes up. You'll realize that people who like where they work and enjoy their work perform better than others who don't. According to a review conducted in 2005, employees who fit well in their workplace had greater job satisfaction and were more productive.

This is one important factor that makes hiring for cultural fit worthwhile. The more an employee feels at home in your company, the better he's likely to perform in his role. An employee may have the right set of qualifications and background to handle a job, but the lack of cultural fit can make them feel like they are rolling a rock uphill.

Cultural Fit Assessment is Important for Employee Retention

While bad bosses, poor employee benefits plans, and sub-standard work environments can lead to increased employee turnover, another notorious reason is poor culture fit. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the cost of employee turnover due to poor culture fit hovers around 50-60% of the individual’s annual salary.

That's actually high assuming you have up to 4 or more of such cases in your company. Culture fit plays a crucial role in ensuring employee retention because employees will always stay where they are happy working. You`ll spend less time posting job ads and conducting interviews. Additionally, your company will attract top talents.

Hiring for Company Culture Creates a Diverse Work Environment

As the talk on cultural fit assessment continues to gain popularity, it is possible to develop the notion that discrimination will set in. At this point, you need to note that while cultural fit assessment seeks to select people who share the same values and attributes as your organization, it is also an opportunity to build a very diverse workforce

Talk about diversity and you'll see that it is a good way to bring in fresh and different perspectives to every important topic, and, in fact, create a positive work environment. So, people from different backgrounds can share similar values.

Build an Outstanding Corporate Image

When your company places great importance on hiring for culture fit, one of the results you get is a positive brand image. Building in a healthy work culture is the same as building a positive image for your company.

And when you think of it, you'll agree that most of the top-ranking companies today have excellent work culture, which they strongly emphasize when hiring.


Selecting the best candidates can be quite a task. This is why some organizations work with PEO solutions or professional HR services providers. But a proven method by which hiring managers can ensure they bring in the best talents is by conducting a cultural fit assessment for prospective employees. This is how to assess if they fit into your company's culture; it will also help them know if they'd like to work in your company or not.


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